Boat Reviews

Bargain Performance

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Bill Schock, the founder of California-based W.D. Schock Corp., got a lot of things right in his time, not the least of which when he turned to his son Tom back in 1976 and said, “It’s a great little boat. Let’s build it.” In this way the Santana 20 was born with, as Tom recalls it, “no demographic studies, no market research, nothing. We didn’t know who we’d sell it to.”

Thirty-five years and more than 900 boats later, the Santana 20 remains a going concern, with a reputation as a bargain performer. Three new fleets have formed in the last two years, the newest in Long Lake, Maine, for a total of 49. Past class president Derek Martin spent a full year researching the Santana 20 before committing himself to a new boat to sail out of San Diego, California, and says he has no regrets.

“Basically, the Santana 20 is a dinghy with a four-foot keel,” Martin says. “You don’t have to sell a kidney to own one. For $4,000 or less, you can buy a used boat in great condition, ready to race, with a trailer. The culture of the class is good, too. There’s openness and sharing. That’s as important to me as the boat.”

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